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Psychedelic doctor killed himself and son in murder-suicide discovered at office building: Authorities

Parth Gandhi speaking to KSTU in a 2020 interview about psychedelics. Police say he killed his son Om Gandhi and then himself on May 13, 2023. (Screenshot: KSTU)

Parth Gandhi speaking to KSTU in a 2020 interview about psychedelics. Police say he killed his son Om Gandhi and then himself on May 13, 2023. (Screenshot: KSTU)

A doctor specializing in psychedelics murdered his own son and killed himself amid a lengthy and contentious custody dispute, authorities say. Cops in Salt Lake City, Utah, identified the suspect as Parth Gandhi, 49. Family friends named the victim as Om Moses Gandhi, 16.

According to officers, someone called 911 Saturday about discovering a body inside the Psychedelic Therapy and Research, touted as the first psychedelic research and therapy company in Utah. First responders arrived at the office complex, located at 2936 South Highland Drive in Salt Lake City, to find father and son dead. Cops soon reached the scene, secured the building, and checked for other victims. Om and his father were the only people dead.

The teen is survived by family, including his mother Leah Moses. According to friends and supporters, she made abuse allegations against her ex-husband, Parth Gandhi.

“Adding to the weight of the worst news any parent could receive was the fact that she had tried to warn law enforcement, child protective services and the courts that her ex-husband was an abuser – for over fifteen years!” said Leah’s friend, Cherise Udell, in a GoFundMe campaign.

Local outlets report that Moses filed for divorce in 2009, which sparked a lengthy custody battle. She filed for protective orders against Gandhi in 2009 and 2011. That dispute continued after the split was completed in 2014. Gandhi initiated a custodial interference case against Moses in 2019, but it was dismissed without prejudice. He objected.

“As Leah is trying to protect her child, luckily in 2021 the court gave her full custody of her daughter,” said Anne Blythe, a longtime friend of Leah Moses, according to KSTU.

Gandhi was awarded full custody of Om under a temporary order in January 2022. Loved ones remembered the 16-year-old as a kind person.

“He endured years of witnessing abuse of every kind imaginable, yet in the quiet strength of his soul, he cared most about protecting his younger sister and his mother,” Udell wrote “Not surprisingly, he was adored by all his cousins who looked up to him as the oldest boy in the family. Om loved camping at the beach and kayaking lakes and rivers with the cousins, was a whiz at math, enjoyed basketball games, and had a creative sense of humor and an infectious laugh. His soft eyes and gentle smile warmed anyone who was blessed to know him. Family gatherings were always his happy place, as was playing music. He taught himself to play the piano, played the bass clarinet and drums, and was a gifted saxophone player. Sadly, Om had his saxophone in hand the day he was senselessly murdered. Om had so much living still to do, and it breaks all our hearts that his beautiful life was cut short because the system meant to protect him completely failed.”

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Blythe said the teenager was a high school junior, an amazing musician, and he loved basketball.

“Leah and her daughter genuinely feel like is their hero,” she said, according to KSTU. “they feel like saved them and they feel like he sacrificed himself so that they could be safe.”

Police did not immediately release information on what specifically precipitated the murder-suicide.

From the Salt Lake City Police Department:

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please know help is available. We urge you to reach out to a mental health professional, a trusted friend or family member, or to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 9-8-8.

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Gandhi was the clinic director and doctor specializing in psychedelic research at Salt City Psychedelic Therapy and Research.

“As a co-founder of SCPTR, the first psychedelic research and therapy company in Utah, his vision has been to ‘Heal the Ill and Better the Well’ with Psychedelics, through the advancement of education and harm reduction,” his site biography stated.

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